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My scope is set on 20x because I was expecting to make a long shot.
Rocky, I'm sitting here drinking coffee yet at 3:59 am. Wouldn't it be nice if someone made a rifle scope with a quick silent electronic zoom. One of my neighbors has a high end Nikon point and shoot digital camera that at the flick of a button offers her 50X zoom or some ridiculous number like that. It's amazing how she can zoom in or out quickly and almost silently capture great pictures of bees, birds, butterflies, planes, etc. I've been in the same position as you were when some sort of game animal popped up way too close for the magnification I had the scope set on, and poof they are gone before any adjustments can be made.
 

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nice elk! great pictures & story. how do you get to the hunting area? horseback? truck? ATV?
I assume it was cold enough for the meat to be good after sitting all night but did it bloat a lot? I have only shot one elk and in the 20 or so minuets from the shot to when we gutted it, the gas was building up in it. I thought it would have looked like a balloon if it sat overnight.
 

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I cannot tell you how jealous this makes me. I'm gonna mess around and never get to go because I become too old!
It's definitely not something you just go and do. The Bearded Butchers on YouTube did an elk hunt in Montana a while back. They run a slaughterhouse and are fit guys and they were getting worn out tramping around looking for some elk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Yup. Elk are not easy. They are smart, have a full kit of good senses and don't like humans much. Deer will stop for another look before departing, moose will circle around, elk depart post haste to the next time zone. They don't care if they ever see you again. The mountains add another element. Elk bed down on high places, usually. Scent drifts up but so does sound. I have sat on top and heard hunters speaking far below me and hundreds of yards away....maybe 6-700 yds away. Far enough that I used binoculars to confirm they were having a meeting. Not well enough to make out the words but no doubt they were humans talking to each other about something. Elk have way bigger ears than I do. You have to learn to move quiet.

Diehard elk hunters are not as crazy as sheep hunters, IMO, but pretty crazy. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
nice elk! great pictures & story. how do you get to the hunting area? horseback? truck? ATV?
SxS. I have a broken elbow and knee damage from one or two of the wrecks I have been on with horses. I want something that stays where I leave it, moves where and when I want, does not spook at the sight of paper or the smell of blood or the sound of a gunshot and will haul a YUGE load. If I was ever to go on the back of an animal, it's be a mule it I had my druthers.

I assume it was cold enough for the meat to be good after sitting all night but did it bloat a lot? I have only shot one elk and in the 20 or so minuets from the shot to when we gutted it, the gas was building up in it. I thought it would have looked like a balloon if it sat overnight.
Yup, he was bloated some. Thing is, if it's not gut shot (this one wasn't) that doesn't really hurt anything. I'd usually open up an animal that had to be left overnight to stop that but in this case with darkness falling and me needing to find and mark some sign to start tracking, I elected not to head up the mountain and roam around. For one thing, it's bloody hard walking over deadfalls and assorted uphill hazards in the dark. For another, if you push an animal that has not yet expired, you can lose him. The only ungulate I ever lost was a whitetail buck laced through both lungs with a .270. I figured on where he'd lay down - just 75 or so yds away in a bluff of spruce. My uncle and I would each go around one side. I was only 16 then but knew enough to warn my uncle not to shoot at him unless he had a clear shot because another shot would make run till he died. Which is exactly what happened. He came out on my uncle's side, he got excited and opened up with his thuty-thuty at a running deer, missed him and the deer made into the national park 陆 mile away. Gone. I don't know how with all the blood loss but that's the risk when you push an animal that has not expired.

When I smoked, I always smoked a cigarette before tracking an animal I'd shot. It was a good habit. I have not lost an animal in 50 years except for 2 black bears that weren't my fault a-tall. Long story for another day.

PS: I've had a couple of steaks and they were as tasty as you can expect from a bull. Can't beat a dry cow but I had a bull tag. Yah, the meat's fine. I had some sausage made up with blueberries so am looking forward to trying that.
 
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